Advances in Coastal Digital Elevation Models

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Abstract

[1] Japan's 11 March Tohoku disaster vividly illustrates how tsunamis have the power to unleash widespread destruction on coasts, in this instance both in Japan and elsewhere after traveling across the Pacific Ocean. But when and where do coastal residents and visitors need to evacuate, and where will they be safe? During the event, computer modeling was used to forecast tsunami arrival time, duration, and wave height for communities around the Pacific. These forecasts were then used by emergency managers to identify areas that needed to be evacuated and, perhaps as important, areas that did not need to be evacuated, allowing evacuation plans to be specifically targeted to communities at risk.

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